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Foundations of Academic Literacy
FAL X99 will provide you with an opportunity to build confidence in your ability to communicate effectively in writing; to understand, develop and practice a variety of ways of presenting your thoughts and ideas; and to receive and apply constructive feedback on your writing and academic literacy skills. These skills will help you in all your SFU courses, and particularly as you take W and B courses. The skills gained in FAL X99 will help you better understand the hallmarks of effective communication in both your discipline and in other disciplines.
Any new SFU student who does not meet the SFU Literacy Requirement when admitted to SFU is required to take FAL X99 or meet the Literacy Requirement via one of the options listed on the SFU Admissions Standards website.
Any SFU student who feels that they would benefit from an opportunity to become more comfortable and confident in their academic literacy skills is welcome to register in FAL X99.
STUDENTS COMING DIRECTLY FROM GRADE 12 WHO DO NOT HAVE A FINAL ENGLISH 12 GRADE OF 75% OR HIGHER
If you are a British Columbia high school student, your English 12 final grade is provided to SFU by the BC Ministry of Education. Your English 12 final grade is calculated based on a combination of your final grade in your English 12 course work and your provincial exam grade (for more information about your final grades, contact SFU Student Services Academic Advising or the BC Ministry of Education).
If your final grade in English 12 was 75% or higher, you are eligible to register directly into writing intensive (W) courses. If your final grade in English 12 was between 60%-74%, you must meet the SFU Literacy Requirement through successful completion of FAL X99 or through one of options listed on the SFU Admissions Standards website.
STUDENTS TRANSFERRING TO SFU WITHOUT A COMPLETED AND TRANSFERRABLE POST-SECONDARY ENGLISH COURSE WITH A GRADE OF "C-" OR BETTER
If you have completed a post-secondary English course that is transferable to SFU for English credit or one that has been certified by SFU as a transferable writing intensive course with a grade of “C-“ or better, you will be deemed to have met the SFU Literacy Requirement. If you do not meet either of these conditions, you must meet the SFU Literacy Requirement through successful completion of FAL X99 or through one of options listed on the SFU Admissions Standards website.
STUDENTS COMING TO SFU FROM OUTSIDE CANADA
If you have written the IELTS Academic test and have achieved a minimum overall band score of 7.0 or better with no sub-test band score less than 6.5, you have met the SFU Literacy Requirement and achieved FAL Credit. You are, therefore, eligible to register in a writing intensive (W) course.
If you do not achieve the minimum acceptable IELTS Academic test score, you must meet the SFU Literacy Requirement through successful completion of FAL X99 or through one of options listed on the SFU Admissions Standards website.
In order to obtain "FAL credit" and be eligible to enroll in a Writing Intensive (W) course, students are required to pass the course overall with a minimum C grade.
If you have not met the SFU Literacy Requirements upon admission to an undergraduate degree program at SFU, you are required to do so before you will be eligible to register in your first writing intensive (W) course. If you decide to take FAL X99 in order to meet this requirement, you must register in and succesfully complete the course during your first three enrolled terms at SFU.
Students who fail to meet the SFU Literacy Requirement by the above deadline will be hard blocked from further course registration until this requirement is met. Please see the SFU Student Services webpage which outlines in more detail the FAL hard block process. For this deadline reason and to avoid being hard blocked from future enrollment in your undergraduate program, you are strongly advised to fulfill the SFU Literacy Requirement as soon as possible.
FAL X99 is an “additive credit” course. This means that while it counts towards your GPA/CGPA, it does not count towards your credits required for your graduation. More specifically, a student needs 120 credits to complete an undergraduate degree at SFU. However, as FAL X99 is an “additive credit” course, you will end up graduating with 124 credits if you take this course.
HOW TO ENROLL
Any student who feels they would benefit from some focused time working on their academic literacy skills is welcome to register in FAL X99. Details about the schedule of currently available sections can be located on goSFU by searching for FAL X99. Follow the same search process you use to locate the other SFU courses you are interested in. Then simply access your goSFU account and register yourself in the section of FAL X99 that is most convenient for you.
You will find the FAL X99 listings in the course catalogue under F. You can register in any section of FAL X99 that still has space available through goSFU using the same process that you do for your other courses. FAL X99 is offered each and every semester at the Burnaby and Surrey campuses, and, occassionally, at the Vancouver (Harbour Centre) campus.
MEET YOUR INSTRUCTORS
The Foundations of Academic Literacy course is led by Dr. Steve Marshall, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University.
DR. STEVE MARSHALL
Steve is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education. He has been teaching FAL X99 since 2006. Steve researches academic literacy and plurilingualism across the disciplines in higher education. Steve is the author of Academic Writing: Making the Transition (Pearson Canada, 2012) and Advance in Academic Writing (Pearson ELT, 2017).
DR. SUSAN BARBER
Susan is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education. Her research focuses on teaching and learning through narrative, creative writing and literacy. She has explored the impact of artful instructional videos on teacher development; on Indigenous students who seek identities at university on their own terms; and English Language Learners as they deepen their foundational academic literacy, critical thinking skills and expression as global citizens. Currently, Susan is investigating how educators can assist new refugees in resettlement in Canada. Art is a universal language that facilitates communication in the early stages, especially important for those who are pre-literate in their own language(s) or have experienced trauma, and may return them to a sense of belonging and wellbeing in their new communities.
DR. JOEL HENG HARTSE
Joel is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Education and a second language writing specialist. He teaches subjects in writing, applied linguistics, and education. Joel's research interests include the interface between the globalization of English and internationalization of higher education, language variation in academic writing and publishing, and the role of student/instructor language ideology and metalinguistic knowledge in university writing pedagogy.
DR. JAN MACLEAN
Jan is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education. Her research areas include art and literacy, inclusive education, and art and social change. Jan has developed a range of projects and programmes in school and community settings that focus on utilizing the arts as a tool for whole inclusion of students with diverse needs and abilities. Her current research focuses on investigating the ways that emerging and traditional technologies can be utilized to develop and deepen aesthetic awareness and create stronger connection with nature and our communities.